Saturday, 31 October 2015

Halloween Master Post

Happy Halloween and welcome to my Halloween Master Post - otherwise known as I-Didn't-Know-What-To-Do-For-My-Halloween-Post-So-I-Did-Everything!  I'm going to be sharing all things Halloween-y, including lists of scary books and movies, a costume idea (though I must admit it's a bit late for that), and some recipes!

Well this is a book blog after all, so why not start with my pick of spooky books?  I'm organising these into categories for why I picked them.  Some of them fit into more than one category, but there's always one that stuck out more for me.  There's also some further information below the pictures, if you're interested.  Also, I confess that the atmosphere category was inspired by Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales Halloween Top Ten Tuesday post.  As usual, you can click the picture to visit the book's Goodreads page and today you can also click the book's name to take you to my review of it.

For the Scary and Seriously Messed Up

172 Hours on the Moon and Illuminae both take place on space - which if you ask me, explains the scary thing right away - and are bound to get your heart racing.  Anna Dressed in Blood and Messenger of Fear are both considerably gory.  Dangerous Girls is a mystery that is so messed up that it will scare you.  The Diviners isn't that scary but it is creepy and supernatural.  Angelfall and Unwind are both dystopians and have the "seriously messed up" element to the extreme.

For the Atmosphere

These books are mostly here because of their settings and writing - it's the way they just give off a vibe that is eerie and intriguing.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Night Circus and The Raven Boys all have beautiful writing that mixes perfectly with slightly mysterious plots.  Hush, Hush and Beautiful Creatures both take place in Halloween-y places with Halloween-y characters.  Cruel Beauty's plot gives it an air of creepiness.

For the Supernatural

Each of these books has some kind of unnatural creature or ability involved.  Uprooted is the most fantastical, and also involves some pretty scary things.  The Darkest Part of the Forest is by Holly Black, so I'm sure you understand that the atmosphere of that book adds to it's appropriateness for Halloween.  A Monster Calls has darkly beautiful illustrations and is very emotional too.  Fang Girl and Drink Slay Love are both great if you want a laugh this Halloween, rather than to be scared.  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is just overall creepy.  Unspoken and Paranormalcy have their funny moments mixed in with cool settings and the supernatural.

I went to an early Halloween party last week and some of the attendees made things to eat.  They all tasted pretty great, so here's a couple of (super simple) (and probably self-explanatory) recipes from that night.

1.  Spooky Jelly

I am so sorry but I do not have a real photo for this!  I didn't foresee that I would be making this post, otherwise I would have thought to :(  Anyway, the graphic pretty much shows what it should look like in the end and I'm sure you can picture it yourself.  Also you can kinda see them in the first photo.

What You Need:

- 10 clear plastic cups

- 2 packets of red or green jelly crystals (to look like blood or just gross gunk, take your pick)

- minimum of 10 spooky lollies (I used body parts)

- space in your fridge (seriously, this is important)
This is a sentence to keep good spacing fix later What To Do:

1.  By following the instructions on the packet, dissolve the first packet of jelly into a large jug.

2.  When all the jelly crystals are dissolved, pour the mixture into each of the plastic cups up to around the halfway mark.  Your first jelly mix should all be used up now.

3.  Put all the cups into the fridge and leave them in there until the jelly is half set (I'd say for about 2 hours, but you can test this by pulling out one cup and seeing how much it wobbles).

4.  Make up your second lot of jelly into the same jug.  You want to make sure that this has time to completely cool down - at air temperature, not in the fridge.  You don't want it to set yet!

5.  Get your half set jellies out of the fridge and carefully put a lolly on top of each one.  You can use chopsticks or tongs if you want to be extra precise.  Also, you need to pick your lollies super carefully.  The lollies you want should be relatively hard (not like boiled lollies hard, but not spongey soft) so that they don't gloop out into the jelly.  Yeah, I may have made this mistake.

6.  Once the second lot of jelly has cooled COMPLETELY (cannot emphasise this enough, trust me if it is not cool the whole thing will be ruined), you can pour it into the cups over the top of the lollies, so that the cups are all full.  To make sure the lollies don't go floating all over the place, you'll need to pour fairly slowly.  If the lollies get out of place you can use tongs to put them back in place.

7.  Put your jellies in the fridge so that they set completely, and when they're done the lollies should be suspended in the middle of the jelly!  Yay!

2.  Dracula Teeth Cookies

Fortunately my friend Amelia is smarter than me and thought to take photos of her creepy creations!

What You Need:

- choc-chip cookies (you can buy these pre-made but you want to make sure the cookies are super circular by using cookie-cutters or by first rolling the dough into a cylinder)

- icing (again, you can buy this pre-made or create your own)

- red food dye

- mini marshmallows

- almond slivers
for spacing What To Do:

1.  Get all your cookies and cut them in half.  Match the closest shaped cookie halves together.

2.  Dye your icing red with the food dye.  You'll only need a couple drops and it doesn't matter if it looks a little more pink than red.

3.  Spread your icing on one side of half of the cookie halves.  You only need to do this around the rounded edge.

4.  Put your marshmallows on each of these cookies where the icing is.  You also want to put one marshmallow with icing on both sides in the middle of the straight edge of the cookie halves for support.

5.  Put icing on the remaining cookie halves in the same manner as the other halves.  Then, place these halves on top of the marshmallow-ed halves so that they look like mouths with teeth.

6.  Get your almond slivers.  To attach these to the cookies, you want to dip one side in icing then stick it on the cookie where fangs would normally be (or where you think looks best).  So that's two almond slivers per cookie.

7.  You're done.  You might want to eat these over plates.  They're delicious, but they are messy!

As previously mentioned, I went to an early Halloween party last week.  I thought I'd show you some pictures of me in my costume and let you know how I did it, since it was so very, very easy.

how fitting that this is the first you get to see of my face

As you can hopefully tell, I went as a zombie.

All I needed for the costume side of it was some old clothes, a knife, a small spray bottle and red food dye.  I went with some ripped shorts (which were my favourite shorts until they were injured in an unfortunate incident involving me walking into a metal shoe rack), my normal leggings, boots, a black singlet and an old white shirt that didn't mind being ripped to shreds.  To make the shirt, I first ripped the hems apart just using my fingers.  I also cut a few holes in the sleeves using some blunt scissors.  Then I got my dad to cut a few slashes through the shirt - we put a piece of wood inside the shirt so that what was cut on one side didn't go through to the other.  Then I put a few drops of red food dye into a small amount of water in the spray bottle.  And, you guessed it, sprayed my shirt.

For my face, I was lucky enough to find some fake blood and (temporary) scar tattoos down at the store, but you could easily draw scars on using some red lipliner and black eyeliner.  To make my face a little paler (because I really need that), I used a little bit of green cream face paint mixed in with my foundation.  Obviously you could just use foundation that is a lighter shade than your face (but why invest in that), or mix in a little white eyeshadow.  Then the only other stuff I needed was black and dark purple eyeshadow.  I used that stuff all over my eyes, going for purple underneath and black above.  I also put some of it on my temples and right under my cheekbones, to go for a bruised, decaying look.  It was important to blend it in so it looked more... natural?  And that was that.

Also, if you actually haven't sorted out your costume yet, check out this post by Giselle @ Perks of Being a Reader for some awesome yet simple last minute Halloween costumes.

Okay, I admit that I am not one for horror movies.  Well... I don't think I've ever actually seen a horror movie altogether.  But I have watched some movies that I think would be good for Halloween.  The list below varies between "not scary at all", "pretty scary" and, back from the books list, "seriously messed up".  They're also not all movies that I 100% remember, but I remember that I enjoyed them a least a little bit.  I also had a list that was a fair bit longer, but I've managed to cut it down to 20 movies (still a lot, I know).  I've linked all the pictures to the movie's IMDB page, so you can check out the cast and synopsis in case you don't already know.

1.  Halloweentown  2.  Flatliners  3.  Into the Woods  4.  Monsters, Inc.  5.  Beetlejuice  6.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  7.  Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory  8.  The Sixth Sense  9.  Ghost  10.  Bridge to Terabithia

11.  Fright Night (1985)  12.  Coraline  13.  Maleficent  14.  Misery  15.  The Frighteners  16.  I Know What You Did Last Summer  17.  Stardust  18.  Odd Thomas  19.  Shattered (1991)  20.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

And so ends the longest Halloween post in existence, I'm sure!  Thanks for reading, if you made it this far!  Let me know what your plans for Halloween are!


  1. I absolutely LOVE this post, Sabrina! Dangerous Girls and The Diviners are perfect for Halloween - I haven't seen this edition of The Diviners before but it's GORGEOUS. Also, The Raven Boys, Cruel Beauty and DoS&B definitely have the perfect atmosphere for Halloween, and - as you said - are written beautifully. A Monster Calls and The Darkest Part of the Forest are SO GOOD, too! Fabulous picks!
    I adore Into the Woods, Monster Inc., Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Coraline and Harry Potter. Many of the movies and books you listed are ones I can't wait to get my hands on.
    I really, really like you Halloween costume! So easy to make, yet very recognizable and looks good! :)
    Unfortunately, I don't have any Halloween plans, because in Hungary we don't really celebrate it - the few events/ parties that exist are either super-lame or just not cut out for me. Anyhow, awesome post and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

    1. I'm so glad you like it, Veronika!
      I have to agree with you about The Diviners' cover, it's my favourite of all the editions I've seen. I'm glad that you think the same about all those books :)
      I hope you get to all the movies and books from here that you want to!
      Thanks about the costume! It was so easy.
      That's too bad. We don't really do much in Australia either - the party I went to was just between my (small) group of friends haha. I totally understand what you mean about the existing events not being cut out for you.
      Thanks so very much - Happy Halloween to you too!

  2. Stardust is one of my favourite movies. I prefer it to the book. Yep, I know!!! I'm not really into scary stuff but I've read a few of the books you mentioned; A Monster Calls and The Raven Boys being my favourite. Unfortunately, Cruel Beauty didn't work for me which is a shame because I was dying to love it, or at least like it. Alas!
    And thanks for those recipes! I absolutely adore jelly so I have to try it! :)

    1. I adore the Stardust movie too :) I remember you telling me that you preferred it over the book - a rare occurrence!
      Haha I have to say I'm with you on the scary things (hence there not being anything truly scary in my lists)!
      I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy Cruel Beauty, it's one of my favourites! I saw that you had issues with Nyx, which I can totally understand.
      I hope you get to try out the jelly!!!


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